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Sail Your City: Red Hook Highlight

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February 28, 2022 Rae Baker

This month is all about our South Brooklyn route, this Brooklyn-based route starts at our Corlears Hook landing and continues all the way down to Bay Ridge. With the recent addition of Governors Island (year-round!) to the route, it has more to do than ever before. All the landings are great but one of our favorites is Red Hook.

Red Hook is a waterfront neighborhood with sweeping views of New York Harbor, great seafood and an industrial aesthetic held over from a previous life. Its cobblestone streets and warehouses are now home to museums, restaurants and shops. Follow along as we sail down to Red Hook to highlight all of the hidden gems the area has to offer.

Things To Do

Shipwrecked Mini Golf – 23 min walk

Shipwrecked Miniature Golf features a 18-hole course hidden on the second floor of an industrial brick building. The course is a hybrid of New York and pirate themed. Everything inside is hand built with a special attention to recycling and reuse. For example, the holes were purchased from a mini golf course in Maryland and would have otherwise gone to landfill.

Shipwrecked Mini Golf – 621 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Red Hook Winery – 11 min walk

Red Hook Winery grows their grapes in the vineyards of North Fork, Long Island in the Hamptons and the notoriously great wine region of the Finger Lakes.They bring their grapes to Pier 41 where they process, make, and bottle their wine highlighting the best of winemaking in the state of New York. The winery offers a tasting room where you can sample wines by the glass or a flight with views of Lady Liberty and Manhattan making it one of our favorite hidden gems in Red Hook.

Red Hook Winery – 175 Van Dyke Street Pier 41, Suite 325A, 11231

Pioneer Works – 3 min walk

One of the coolest museums in Brooklyn, this space named itself to pay homage to the former factory that used to be housed in the same building, Pioneer Iron Works. Today you’ll find a really cool urban artistic space where visitors can come and explore the various exhibits by different artists or even participate in a class!


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Pioneer Works – 159 Pioneer St & 133 Imlay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Waterfront Museum – 11 min walk

This museum is dedicated to the historic preservation and heritage of the New York Harbor and waterfront. There are many different exhibits and displays including historic boats. You can also learn about the different people who played a role in the local history while onboard the Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge Number 79, a preserved Hudson River Railroad Barge.


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Waterfront Museum – 290 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Kentler International Drawing Space – 7 min walk

Kentler International Drawing Space opened its nonprofit organization and gallery to showcase contemporary drawings and works done on paper by talented, emerging artists. Their works feature nearly 300 of both US and internationally based artists.

Kentler International Drawing Space – 353 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Look North Gallery – 11 min walk

This gallery is dedicated to promoting Inuit and Arctic Culture through art with a display of authentic contemporary sculptures, paintings, etchings, and prints from both well-known artists and up-and-coming creatives from over 30 Inuit communities in Canada’s Arctic region. This gallery was founded by Jim Clark in 2006 who spent 25 years on commercial vessels through Arctic landscapes while getting to know and appreciate the communities he visited.

Look North Gallery – 275 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Amorphic Robot Works – 5 min walk

On Pioneer Street you can find one of the most unique galleries in the city also known as “The Robotic Church.” Artist Chico MacMurtrie has a collection of over 50 pneumatic robot sculptures on display in a former Norwegian Seaman’s church. The space is filled with all kinds of different robots, some are as big as 15 ft and some are programmed to perform tasks or make sounds.


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Amorphic Robot Works – 111 Pioneer St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Record Shop – 6 min walk

Red Hook local Bene Coopersmith opened up this record shop for the overflow of his own personal collection. You can find a variety of genres here and even some rare vinyl for collectors.


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Record Shop – 360 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Things To See

Mary A. Whalen – 2 min walk

This historic oil tanker from 1938 is a rare last-surviving bell boat which is a ship that is controlled with telegraph signals sent from a bridge and was active from 1938 to 1994. Admire from afar or climb onboard and enjoy the main deck of PortSide’s historic ship during their designated hours. If you’re lucky you’ll even spot Chiclet, the ship cat, wandering around the port!


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Mary A. Whalen – Pier 11, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Louis Valentino Jr. Park & Pier – 10 min walk

The end of the pier offers a great, front-row seat to the Statue of Liberty views, not to mention Brooklyn view of the Manhattan skyline, as well as a lawn for picnics. The park is named after a firefighter by the name of Louis Valentino Jr., paying tribute to a local hero who passed away in 1996 trying to save injured firefighters in a three-alarm fire.


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Louis Valentino Jr. Park & Pier – Ferris St &, Coffey St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Erie Basin Antiques – 8 min walk

Erie Basin Antiques offers some of the most interesting vintage and antique jewelry in the city. This cool little shop has jewelry ranging from the 18th – 20th centuries.


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Erie Basin Antiques – 388 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Erie Basin Park – 15 min walk

This narrow, tree-lined space offers seating up and down the esplanade, with benches and a few stretches of grass to spread out which makes an ideal spot to catch a sunset or a nice little Brooklyn picnic spot. This spot was created under an agreement with the city, in order for IKEA to be able to build and open a store here they had to agree to make a public green space for the community and this was the result.


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Erie Basin Park – 50-94 Beard St. New York, NY 11231

Abandoned Trolley – 13 min walk

This old abandoned street trolley from 1951 nestled between the waterfront and Fairway Market. This is the last remaining trolley from a project to bring trolley car transportation to Red Hook and popularize the ‘trolley lines’ in Brooklyn as a mode of public transport.

Abandoned Trolley – Behind the Food Bazaar at 480-500 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Coffey Park – 6 min walk

Coffey Park is a beautiful park with paved walkways cutting through the park and permanent chess and checker boards in the center. The backdrop is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is plenty of space for picnics on the lawn when the weather is nice.


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Coffey Park – 85 Richards St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Things To Eat/Drink

Red Hook Tavern – 6 min walk

This popular spot with an old-school classic feel serves up American-fare including their famous burgers. It’s a great place to sit at the bar, grab a drink, and catch up with friends.


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Red Hook Tavern – 329 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

AR Hot Bagels – 6 min walk

Looking for a quick and classic NYC breakfast? Head over to AR Bagels, the earlier the better if you want your favorite bagel flavor as they can sell out as the day goes on. Pick up a classic bagel with cream cheese or a baconeggncheese.


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AR Hot Bagels – 350 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Red Hook Lobster Pound – 7 min walk

No trip to Red Hook is complete without eating at one of the many awesome seafood spots! The Red Hook Lobster Pound serves New England style lobster rolls plus tons of other seafood options!

Red Hook Lobster Pound – 284 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Brooklyn Ice House

This divey tavern has a laid-back vibe with a cool backyard space and patio, plus affordable drinks to pair with their great bar food.


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Brooklyn Ice House – 318 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Baked – 8 min walk

This adorable bakeshop has cookies, cupcakes and everything in between. They also feature a star-studded clientele with top notch reviews from both Oprah and Martha Stewart!


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Baked – 359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

San Pedro Inn – 4 min walk

If you took a dive bar and Mexican street food cantina and put them in a blender, you’d end up at San Pedro Inn. They have some of the best tacos in Red Hook, and delicious margaritas to top it off with a relaxed, cool vibe!


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San Pedro Inn – 320 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Hometown Bar-B-Que – 11 min walk

This Texas-style BBQ joint attracts people for their oak-smoked meats along with a great craft brew selection. On the weekend you may even get some live music to go along with the seriously good food.


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Hometown Bar-B-Que – 454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Defonte’s Sandwich Shop – 12 min walk

This iconic Brooklyn sandwich shop is a century old this year! They don’t stray from the classics offering old school heroes with homemade ingredients that overflow the roll. Nick Defonte left Italy to come to America through Ellis Island, years later he purchased this spot for $100 and opened the sandwich shop in 1922.


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Defonte’s Sandwich Shop – 379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Brooklyn Crab – 11 min walk

Brooklyn Crab is a summer staple in Red Hook. Head over on a nice day and enjoy a seafood feast with waterfront views. They even feature Maryland Blue Crabs with Old Bay, they tend to sell out throughout the day so get ‘em while they’re hot!


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Brooklyn Crab – 24 Reed St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Ample Hills Creamery & Factory – 11 min walk

One of the best spots for ice cream in Brooklyn is the Ample Hills Creamery in Red Hook, stop by and explore their interactive ice cream museum to learn all about everyone’s favorite frozen dessert.


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Ample Hills Creamery & Factory – 421 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie – 11 min walk

Steve’s Key Lime Pie’s give Florida a run for their money. The secret is using freshly squeezed key limes in their recipe! On top of pies they also offer mini frozen key lime pies served on a stick and covered in chocolate called Swingles.


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Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie – 185 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Van Brunt Stillhouse – 13 min walk

Van Brunt Stillhouse is a New York State Farm Distillery in the heart of Red Hook. While the idea of a farm distillery in a big city seems somewhat ironic, they think of themselves as an extension of Thor Oeschner’s organic farm near Ithaca, the primary source of their grain. Stop by their tasting room to sample their spicy rye whiskey, smoky corn whiskey, and smooth wheated bourbon.

Van Brunt Stillhouse – 6 Bay St Fl. 1, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Sunny’s Bar – 10 min walk

Opened in 1890 and going through various incarnations including a restaurant and a longshoremen’s hangout, it wasn’t until the 1990s that it became the beloved local mainstay helmed by the unique owner, Sunny, who greeted you warmly from beneath a mop of gray hair until he passed in 2016. It’s now, as Sunny used to say, “just a meeting place for folks — painters, writers, musicians, plumbers — who care about each other so much they don’t mind the trip.”


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Sunny’s Bar – 253 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

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